Here are four guidelines to help develop this
rhythm between study and not study to prevent
you from becoming too stressed and achieving
your maximum potential as a student. It is only
one suggestion and should be adapted to what
works best for you.
1. Every semester and mid semester break (four
times a year) you should have some period of
holiday time. This will give you something to look
forward to each term and you can then return to
study refreshed. It can be an excellent motivation.
Many students say they will study during holiday
breaks and even take their books with them. What
usually happens is that they put the study off and
have time off anyway. However, it is not effective
time off because they worry and feel guilty, which
exhausts them. It is much better to remove the
worry and guilt and get rejuvenated.
2. Every week you should have at least one day off.
You and everyone around you should know it is
your day off from study, it should be worry and
guilt free. On that day it is fine to do other things
like cleaning, cooking, shopping etc but not study.
When you do this you find you get a new
perspective on what you are doing and many
problems naturally solve themselves.
3. Every day have some time that you know and feel
is legitimate to not study perhaps three hours. It
is during these times that you can do the things
that give your life its balance that will help you
study more effectively.
4. Every hour you need some time off. Time sitting
at your desk trying to study but not studying is
wasted time. It is much better to get up, have a
break and then return when your mind is very
clear. Very few people can study for more that
thirty to fifty minutes with full concentration. You
should then have a short break, maybe 10-15
minutes, then continue to study, then a break
again – and keep up this rhythm. People can
study for a long time like this. When you are
having extreme difficulty studying you can even
reduce the study time to 15 minutes and in a
short time you will be able to increase it again.
Many students study until they cannot study any
more. It is often better to stop while study is
going well because it is much easier to return to
it. During the short break do things that refresh
you: go outside, do something physical, dance,
walk, play some musical instruments – whatever
gives you a break from study. Then return to your
Keep this up until it is time to take one of your
bigger breaks that you have each day. Keep this
daily rhythm up until your day off arrives and
keep this weekly rhythm up until the term break
arrives. This rhythm is part of a lifestyle that will
help you to perform to your best potential and is
sustainable over a long time.